The Tweenage Rugrats in, "Hurricane"

By Birch Griesse

It was Summer Vacation and the Rugrats were looking a listing of vacation places on a flier they had picked up.

"Hmmm," said Didi, "Tons of Fun Family Camp?"

"Nah," said the kids.

"How about a three week rafting trip on the Colorado River."

"No," said the kids.

"Well, there's this organized backpacking trip at Yosemite National Park?"

"Uh-uh," said the kids.

"Well, there's a cruise to the Hawaiian Islands. It's a great deal! It's on the S.S. Minnow III, and it's only $2000 for ten people! After that it's fifty dollars a person."

"Yay! Alright!" cried the kids. So the parents began making plans for the trip.

"But that's $2950," Tommy exclaimed, "if you count every one!"

"Well, actually, Angelica's family wont be able to go and Chuckie and Kimi's parents have other business," Didi corrected him, "So it's actually $2650."

"But that's still a lot," Kimi pointed out.

"I think that among us Betty, Howard, Stu, Randy, Lucy, and I can come up with $2650," Didi informed her, "Now you kids should probably start packing." So the Rugrats rushed off to pack everything they could stuff into their bulging suitcases.

Meanwhile, Stu was watching the weather on the news. The weatherman pointed to the area around Hawaii and California.

The weatherman said, "There is going to be clear sunny weather in this area for the next few weeks. But over here we can expect some storming..."

He said. Didi saw this. "Good," she said, "Our cruise ship goes right through that area."

In his room, Tommy was reading a book on hurricanes. A picture of the area of Hawaii and Mexico was shown. A red circle was drawn around a part in the center, between Hawaii and Mexico. The caption below the picture read:

"This is one of the places where hurricanes are most likely to strike. This place is very dangerous, because hurricanes are almost impossible to predict. "

This made Tommy worry. Their cruise would pass right through that area! He grabbed the book and ran downstairs.

"Mom!" he called, "Mom?"

"What?" came Didi's voice from the kitchen. Tommy entered the kitchen, still grasping the book.

"What if there's a hurricane while we're on our cruise?" he asked, worriedly. He showed her the picture and said, "It says this area is where hurricanes are most likely to be! Our cruise ship passes right through that area!"

Didi smiled.

"Tommy, the weatherman says there's a 96% chance of clear skies around that area for the next few weeks in that very area. That's a four percent chance of just clouds! And probably a 0.004 percent chance of a hurricane," Didi reassured her worried son.

"But mom," Tommy argued, "It says here that hurricanes are almost impossible to predict!" Didi read the caption below the picture.

Then she took the book and opened it the front page.

"Tommy, this book was written in 1970," she said looking at the copyright date, "They didn't have nearly the technology we have now! You have no need to worry!"

Tommy was finally convinced that it would be almost impossible for there to be a hurricane.

After a couple of weeks, it was time to set out for the Hawaiian Islands. Tommy had completely forgotten about what he had read in the hurricane book. The families all piled into a van provided by a limo service. Kimi and Chuckie sat in the top part together.

"I wish mom and dad could come," said Chuckie.

"Me to," Kimi said.

"But Angelica didn't get to go at all," Chuckie pointed out.

"Yeah," Kimi giggled, I can just imagine her disappointment. 'Oh, I so needed that tan! And I heard that they had all kinds of sweets on that boat!'"

"Really," said Chuckie, "Like she needs to get any fatter!" Kimi and Chuckie laughed uncontrollably.

The Rugrats and their parents walked on deck, where a deck hand showed them their cabin. It was a rather small cabin, with three small rooms. A main room, a bedroom, and a bathroom. The kids rushed into the bedroom. There were seven beds crammed together. Each had a top bunk and a bottom bunk.

"I call the top!" Dil cried as he jumped up to the top of the nearest bed.

The bed wobbled and he fell onto the mattress of the bottom bunk of the bed beside his. Everyone laughed. Kimi struggled to the top of the bunk Dil had fallen off of.

"I claim this bunk for me, and in memory of the brave explorer, Dylan Pickles, who fell from its heights," she declared.

"Don't you call me Dylan!" Dil ordered, "My name is Dil!"

"So," said Kimi. Dil climbed onto the bunk next to Kimi and jumped ... right over the bunk to the other side. He landed in a bag of Chuckie's clothes. He lifted a pair of underwear, and waved it in the air.

"Ha!" Kimi exclaimed, "The white flag of surrender!"

Susie tossed Kimi her bag and Kimi caught it. She unpacked her stuff and set it up on the bed she was on, reinforcing her claim to the top bunk. Dil just laid his stuff out on the bunk he was on. The rest of the kids took the rest of the top bunks. The adults took the bottom bunks, and one was left empty. It was the one below Kimi's top bunk.

"I claim the lowlands for my own, as it is not yet taken!" Kimi cried, pointing to the bottom bunk.

She through her mess of clothes to the bottom bunk and then through most of the rest of her stuff down too.

"Well, lets go out on deck," Didi suggested, "I hear they have snack carts, dancing at night, a nice sunny spot with fold out chairs, dinner and a show at night, and..."

"Let's just go!" Phil cut her off.

"Well, OK," said Didi, and the Rugrats rushed out the cabin door.

"Hey, Deed," Betty bellowed, "Let's go down to the exercise room!"

So the girls headed off. Stu and Howard went off to the showers. Randy stayed in his room to work on a double-length Dummi Bears Special, "The Summer of No Sun". Lucy went off to the kitchens to volunteer in kitchen duty. The kids went off in different directions to do different things. Phil and Lil headed straight toward the snack carts. Susie headed over to the sunniest spot on the boat, aplied sun screen, and relaxed. She signalled a passing cart and took a glass of lemonade. with ice and an umbrella. Tommy, Dil, Chuckie, and Kimi went off to play tennis at the far side of the ship. In the exercise room, Didi looked worn out already. She left after a few minutes to go get a tan. Stu and Howard were having a soap fight in the showers. Stu sprayed the contense of a bottle of shampoo at Howard, hitting him right in the face. Howard spit the shampoo out that had gotten in his mouth and responded by launching a bar of soap in the air in Stu's direction. Stu dodged the soap.

"Miss!" he cried, but he had spoke to soon, because at that moment, Howard squirted a bootle conditioner all over him.

"Ha!" said Howard right before he caught a bar of soap in the mouth.

That night, the families ate a dinner that Lucy helped prepare and watched Don Rickles perform live on the cruise ship!

When it was over, the Rugrats could hardly sleep. Few of them did at all that night. They stayed up talking all night.

The next morning, there were a few fluffy white clouds in the sky. This made Tommy remember what he had read about hurricanes.

When he pointed this out to Didi, she simply said,

"They're just a few little, fluffy white clouds. Nothing to worry about. They'll be gone in no time."

But the clouds stayed. And they got darker and darker and bigger and bigger. Meanwhile, in the Captain's cabin, Captain Jonas Grumby, known to the crew and guests as "The Skipper", received an important message on his emergency radio.

"Skipper, this is Bob, and I have some very bad news for you. There's a hurricane headed straight for you and should reach you within
thirty minutes! And boy this is a big one!"

"But the nearest island is fifty miles away! We'll never make it in time!" The Skipper exploded.

"Well, crank the boat to top speed and see if you can make it!" Bob replied, and then disconnected. The Skipper appeared on deck and called for every single person on the boat.

Meanwhile, at the Finsters house, Kira and Chazz were watching the evening news when the flash update that a hurricane was headed sraight for a cruise ship between California and Hawaii. Kira jumped from her chair and gasped.

"That's Chuckie and Kimi! That's the ship that Chuckie and Kimi are on!" She cried in disbelief.

Angelica and her parents were watching the same horrible report at their house.

"I have very bad news!" he said glumly, "the forecaster has just informed me that a huge hurricane is headed our way and should be here in thirty minutes! The nearest island is twenty miles away! And..."

"Hey what's that?" Dil cried. He was looking through his binoculars at a small gay dot far in the distance. Kimi grabbed the binoculars and looked through them. At first she couldn't see anything (by then it was raining very hard and it was really dark), but finally she spotted it.

"Dil, you saved us! It's an island!" she cried, "It's an island! Go that way!" She pointed in the direction of the small gray dot.

"An uncharted island!" cried The Skipper in astounishment as he dashed to his cabin.

Everyone go to your cabins!" he said over the intercom, "Stay there and try not to panic!"

Kimi and Chuckie sat toether crying on the bottom bunk of Kimi's bed.

"I hope we make it to the island in time!" Chuckie wailed, "And I wish we had mom and dad with us!"

"Me too," Kimi sobbed, trying to hold back tears. But in the end they flowed freely from her eyes.

Chuckie then spoke to himself, saying "Three Hour Tour", repeatedly.

To Be Continued

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